Format and Rules

Format and Rules for Minnesota's Personal Finance Decathlon

The format of the state competition for 2016 has changed. Please read the following format carefully and contact us at mcee@umn.edu if you have any questions.

General Structure 

Team Composition 

  1. Teams shall be comprised of three to four members. 
  2. All members of a team must be from the same high school. 
  3. A team which qualifies for the state competition may reconstitute the members of its team prior to the competition. 

Qualifying for the State Competition 

  1. Twelve teams will be invited to participate at the State Competition. 
  2. These will include the top twelve scoring teams in online competition. 
  3. Exception – team limit for schools: Schools can only qualify one team to the state competition. If an additional team or teams from a school place in the top 12 online scores, the next highest qualifying team will be sent to the state finals instead. The exception to this is if there are fewer than 12 schools competing online. Then additional teams will be allowed from a school (up to two teams per school) based on online scores.

State Competition Format 

Case Study Analysis Structure

Each team will be given a case study with incomplete financial information about a fictional family's situation. Teams will have 90 minutes to study and analyze the case study and to prepare a presentation providing comprehensive financial planning for the family. Students will have access to the internet during this time. Sample case studies will be available online prior to the competition to practice on. After the 90 minutes, teams will present to a panel of judges. The top four teams will then move onto the Quiz Bowl rounds.

    Quiz Bowl Structure 

    1. The top four scoring teams from the case study analysis will qualify for the quiz bowl finals. 
    2. The teams will be paired randomly in the first quiz bowl round. There will be two matches in this round.
    3. The winners of each match will move onto the finals. 
    4. The winning team from the final quiz bowl match will be named the state champion and be invited to the National Competition. 

    Quiz Bowl Format 

    1. Each match is over as soon as one team leads by more points than there are questions remaining. 
    2. A maximum of 21 questions will be asked. 
    3. One student on each team is the designated spokesperson for that team. Only responses from the spokesperson are considered official. 
    4. Team members may buzz in any time a question is being read; however, they will have to answer the question based solely on the information they have heard up to that point. 
    5. Once a team member has buzzed in, the team has 15 seconds to consult and have a response given by its spokesperson. 
    6. One point is awarded for each question answered correctly. 
    7. If an incorrect response is given or the 15 second time limit exceeded, the question will be read again and the opposing team will have 15 seconds to answer the question. 
    8. If there is a dispute on any question, points awarded, etc. of the quiz bowl, the moderator has final say.